CONSTRUCTION of a giant new solar farm in Sidlesham is due to commence this month.
Planning permission to build on the 54-acre site at Baker’s Farm, off Selsey Road, was granted by Chichester District Council in October.
The area is located between Sidlesham and Selsey on the Manhood Peninsula, around 7km south of Chichester.
Developer Solafields says the farm will generate up to 10MW of power, enough to power around 3,686 average UK households.
Building is set to begin imminently and should take ten weeks to complete, meaning the new solar farm should be up and running by March.
And Solafields is now offering grants of up to £10,000 to support potential community projects near the site.
Mark Candlish, director of Solafields, said: “We’re keen for the local community to benefit from the solar farm and so we’d like to hear from any groups that need financial support for a particular project or initiative that would bring environmental or social benefits to the area.”
To minimise disruption as the work is carried out, the developer says local residents have been contacted with a map showing the route delivery vehicles will take to the site, and given a contact number to call if they have any enquiries.
The development will also include a sub-station as well as a number of other buildings, security fencing and gates and CCTV cameras.
The solar farm will, however, be only a temporary development and will be decommissioned after 30 years.
There will be no change of use and the site will be returned to arable production and or pasture on decommissioning.
The land will continue to be used for aggricultural purposes while energy is being produced, with sheep grazing beheath and around the solar panels.
The renewable electricity generated by the solar farm will be exported to the grid.
Solafields is inviting local people to get in touch if they have any suggestions or ideas for the £10,000 grant, which will be set up once construction has started:
For information about how to apply, call 08000284866 or email firstname.lastname@example.org